01 Jul Fox hole beautification July 8, 1944
I’m just amazed by these two letters written the same day, one to his wife and one to his Dad. Interesting how he speaks about some of the same things but has a different focus with each person.
8 July 1944 V-Mail
Dear Dad, I’m gradually getting organized and am sure that I’m going to like it fine here. I’m working in the headquarters (battalion) message center. A lot of the procedure was unfamiliar to me, but I’ve practically got it whipped – now it requires care & accuracy & common sense more than anything else. Some evenings now I sit on my helmet and listen to the radio by the mess tent, and watch the farmers wife in her wooden shoes pull a two wheel cart with 2 five gal. cans into the field. Then she gets out the milk stool and sits down & milks about 10 cows – filling the 2 cans! Some job, huh? One night (when it did not rain – a rare night, believe me) I played some soft ball with the boys. Kept pulling ’em foul off third at first, but finally got the old timing and got a couple solid singles and a double! Chip off the old blockhead, hum?
I have my fox hole fixed up nice and homey now. Shelves & hooks to hang stuff on, and knocked down ration cartons for a roof. That way, I can make an envelope roll with my 2 blankets & shelter half to sleep in. Nice & warm, and I need it ’cause nights are cold. But I’m fine – don’t worry, Dad. Love to you all as ever, Rollin
8 July 1944 V-Mail Letter #19
Hello, Cutie – I’m getting pretty well organized here now. You may note, for instance, that the usual Bauer scrawl is a bit more legible now? Result of this fine “desk” that I’ve thrown together from a couple of box ends tied together with telephone wire. Makeshift, yes – but a good solid job, if I do say so – and I do say so! I’ve rigged up shelves & hooks in my foxhole so that I can reach or pick up practically anything at a moments notice. And my old “pack-rat” tendencies (which you’ve scoffed for years) are paying dividends in the form of small comforts and conveniences – heh heh (me scoffing contentedly to myself). When I have time (or an evening) I sit on my helmet and listen to the radio (Kay Kyser, and stuff you couldn’t drag me to at home, but here it’s good) and watch the farmers wife, and her little boy, come into the field in her wooden shoes, dragging a two wheel cart with two 5 gal milk cans, and go to work milking the cows. And she fills those cans alone, but golly! Some of the boys buy a canteen of milk, but I prefer not to take chances. I’ll wait for that good ol’ watery Borders back home. Damn, I wish I’d get some mail. But I love you, don’t I? I do! Pappy